Pure in Heart See God

Have you ever wished to see God face-to-face and have a personal conversation with Him? There are real life situations where Christians claim to have seen God. Some say God speaks with them on a regular basis, even day-to-day. They will tell you that God “hangs out” or just “chats” with them. I am aware of cases where Christians claim “God” gave them advice that turned out to be false. But God does not lie (Numbers 23:19) nor does He make mistakes, because He knows all things. This means the conversation they are having is not with God. Some people even say they see God daily. This cannot be true. Scripture teaches that a person cannot see God and live (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; 1 John 4:12). This means that if someone did see God, they would not be alive to tell anyone. The desire to see God face-to-face and to have a conversation with God is strong when you love Him. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us who will see God,

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NASB)

No Man Can See God

Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, and Elijah were men of old who had very unusual relationships with God. The most significant couple in the Bible is Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:15-17 and Genesis 3:8-10 reveal that they did talk with God. The Bible tells us that Abraham was the friend of God (James 2:23), but not Adam. The Bible never tells us Adam and Eve saw God, but it does tell us that they heard the “sound of the LORD God walking in the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Then about 622 years later Adam saw Enoch who would later not see death because he pleased God (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5). Elijah did not see death either because God took him to heaven in a “chariot of fire” (2 Kings 2:11). Would you like to have that same type of relationship with God?

Of all the men, it was Moses who spoke to God as a friend speaks to his friend. It was Moses who spoke to God face-to-face and mouth-to-mouth. Listen to these words,

And it came about, whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses . . . the LORD [spoke] to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. Exodus 33:9, 11a (NASB)

and again,

Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Numbers 12:5-8 (NASB)

This is the heart passion of many Christians – to talk with God face-to-face.

Moses spoke to God mouth-to-mouth but did not see God. The Hebrew expression “face-to-face” in Exodus 33:11, according to the Jewish rabbis, does not mean that Moses actually saw God’s face but that he saw God’s presence. Exodus 33:20-23 records the words God spoke to Moses. There Moses is told that he could not see God’s face for “no man can see Me and live” (NKJV). But because God loved Moses, He allowed Moses to see or witness His presence.

1 Timothy 6:16 hints why no man has ever seen God and why no man can ever see Him. God is light (1 John 1:5); He clothes Himself in light (Ps 104:2). He dwells in unapproachable light. We are told that even the cherubim cover their faces in His presence.

Pure Hearts

Therefore, Jesus’ Jewish listeners must have been shocked when He said,

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NASB)

The Greek word for heart is kardia. It does not always refer to the physical organ that we call the heart. The Greek word for heart sometimes referred to the seat of life, the seat of our feelings, desires, and passions. It was also the seat of thought and understanding as well as the seat of the will. The heart is the real person: emotions, will, and intelligence.

So what did they understand when Jesus said “pure in heart”? Our English Bible fails to communicate the true meaning of “pure.” The Greek word for “pure” is kathapos. It has the idea of a sense of cleanness. The word was sometimes used to refer to wheat that had all the chaff removed. It was also used to describe a body of soldiers purged of cowards. A wonderful example of kathapos is the healing of a leper in Matt. 8:2-3. Matthew tells us that a leper pleaded to be made clean, kathapos, and Jesus made him kathapos. Jesus removed the disease from his body. A pure heart is a heart purged from sin.

Jesus was not talking about being clean on the outside. He was talking about being clean on the inside. He was talking about being holy. The Pharisees were religiously clean on the outside. So, Jesus’ words must have been ugly to them (Matthew 23:25-27). To Jesus’ disciples, He said,

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:3 (NASB)

So, how can a person become clean or holy? The answer is a person must believe in Jesus Christ. It is then that we have clean hearts (Acts 15:9).

Pure In Heart Shall See God

So, only those who believe in Christ are those who are pure in heart. What did Jesus promise those pure in heart? He said they will see God. They will see God some day but not in this life.

If you are a Christian today, God has forgiven all your sins and forgotten all of your sins because He has said,

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow . . .” Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

Christians are the only ones who have pure hearts. Their hearts are pure only because God has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). If you are not a Christian, your heart is not pure and you will not see God unless you believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. John 3:16 says,

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NASB)

Jesus was urging people to believe in Him. If you are not a Christian, will you decide to accept Him as Lord and Savior and follow Jesus?


Someday Christians will see God face-to-face,

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart . . . Psalm 24:3 (NASB)

Until we see God face-to-face, until we speak to Him mouth-to-mouth, even though we are forgiven, we still sin. Until then, Jesus wants our outside to look as pure day-to-day as He has made our inside. You may say, “How do I do that?” Listen to 2 Chronicles 12:14,

And he did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD. 2 Chronicles 12:14 (NASB)

Why did he do evil? He did not seek God. Christian! Are you seeking God? You can do this by reading the Bible and studying it day after day. Confess your sins and daily pray to God.

Suggested Links:

Searching for God — In Search of God — Go To Heaven
Sermon on the Mount
Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
Happy Are The Poor
Happy Are Those Who Mourn
Happy Are The Gentle
The Hungry And Thirsty
Peacemakers Are Sons of God
Persecuted for Jesus
Be Salt and Light